Saturday, March 9, 2024

We Can Be Heroes (2024) SXSW 2024

This is the story of several teens who attend The Wayfinder Experience in upstate New York. Here a group of neurodivergent, queer, and self-proclaimed "nerdy" teenagers can come together to find a place to be themselves, make friends and have a grand time doing live action role playing.

WE CAN BE HEROES broke me emotionally. Not because of anything in the film, which is glorious and uplifting, but rather watching the group of kids pretend to be fantasy characters in a camp I desperately needed when I was young didn't exist. I needed to go to this camp or at least know it existed, so it wasn't until I was in my late twenties and early thirities that I started to find my people. Watching the film I was filled with such a sense of home and belonging, despite being four decades too old. When the film ended I emailed my friend Randi to tell her I just saw a film about a lace wee needed when we were kids.

Beyond the film making me an emotional wreck, WE CAN BE HEROES is a glorious film. A life affirming joyous look at kids getting to be kids and finding their clan. This is the story of a bunch of kids find that there really is a place for them and, most importantly, they aren't alone. Feeling like you are alone in the world can be a terrible thing. Knowing you are not opens doors to possibilities and can keep you centered.

I love the kids. Within Dexter, Abby and Eli I saw portions of myself. I instantly understood where they were and who they were and I wanted to give them a hug. They are me decades removed.

You will forgive me for speaking of the film only in terms of myself, but that's the way the film hit me. This is a film that punched me in the heart and forced me to react to being a kid again. There is no rational reaction to the film only the pure emotion of a life time bleeding out.

I absolutely loved this film with all my heart and soul. I love that it made me feel. I loved that it made me smile and mostly I loved that it made me know that some of the kids today are going to be more than alright because a place like the Wayfinder Experience exists.

Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. Such a heartfelt review. I agree with you-we all need to find our place and this is definitely the pl as we for these kids.